The ultimate live streaming guide for beginners | Livestream

With over 57 % of marketers live streaming their content, it ’ s not hard to see why brands are jumping into the stream business. But for plenty of brands and content creators, learning how to live current can be a hurdle .
There ’ s no pity in admitting the technical side of populate pour can be, well, reasonably technical to understand for the majority of us .
Don ’ thyroxine lose hope ! In this guide, we ’ ll unpack all the complicate business of streaming. We ’ ll walk through how to set up a live stream, what gear to consider, and how to get it set up .
We ’ ll besides tackle how to find the proper pour platform and parcel tips for a stable internet connection when live pour.

There ’ s a distribute of ground to cover, so let ’ s jump into it .

How to set up a live stream

ultimately, live streaming your content boils down to five steps :

  1. Connect the audio and video sources that capture content for live streaming to your streaming device (PC or laptop).
  2. Configure the encoder – one that translates the audio and video content into streamable files ready to be shared on the internet.
  3. Connect the encoder and streaming platform using the stream key and URL that your streaming platform provides.
  4. Test your internet connection and upload speed
  5. Stream away!

In other words, your alive pour process includes CED or capturing audio and video recording message, encoding it, and distributing it using a live streaming platform .
You credibly noticed there ’ s lots of gear and hot cyclosis software involved. We ’ ll address those first, then share the details on how to set everything up .

What equipment do you need to live stream?

Building a streaming apparatus for beginners is pretty childlike. You ’ ll need a television camera, mic or microphone, light up, and a static internet connection .
You ’ ll besides need to get your ( digital ) hands on some live streaming software. More on that in a bit. For nowadays, let ’ s make started with the live streaming equipment you ’ ll necessitate .


If you ’ re merely getting started with testing the live stream waters, our live Production Lead at Vimeo, Tom Gott, suggests you ’ ll only need a single quality camera .
In other words, a webcam will do the job .
But if you ’ re looking to explore other camera choices, there are enough of options for every budget. We have big options if you ’ rhenium drive to go low-cost into exist stream before upgrading your gear .
Beginner level video sources :

  • Your phone’s camera
  • An entry-level live streaming camera like DJI Osmo Action, GoPro Hero, Logitech C930e, or Mevo camera.

Intermediate level video recording sources :
If you do have some budget set apart for investing in a television camera, say up to $ 2000, you can level up your live stream ’ mho plot by investing in any of the follow :

  • Canon XA15 or XF100
  • Panasonic LUMIX GH4
  • Sony A7 II for this price range.

Can you use any television camera to live stream ?
A webcam, point and inject, camcorder —all will work for know streaming equally long as the television camera you use is able to capture a minimum of 720p at 24fps footage .


even if the video quality of your live pour is up to equality, your consultation will check out if the audio timbre is hapless .
so don ’ thyroxine overlook your know stream ’ second audio quality. That ’ randomness why Gott advises, “ Don ’ t trust on the built-in microphone on your television camera, invest in a proper one. ”
If you ’ re just starting to explore audio equipment options, we ’ ve got a great guide on how to find the perfective mic for your video. here are the options at a glance .
Beginner level audio sources :

  • Shure’s iPhone Microphone
  • Shure MV88 digital stereo condenser mic
  • Rode VideoMic
  • Topaz DeNoise AI audio software
  • Yeti Nano USB mic

Intermediate level audio sources :

  • Lavalier mics aka clip on mics (yes, the ones that look pretty cool)
  • Handheld microphones such as Shure SM58s that our team has used

not planning to invest in an audio source ? Your earphone can help capture sound. Well, at least temporarily as you get to grips with the live stream business .

Capture card

The third objet d’art of live cyclosis equipment that you may need is a capture card .
A capture tease is an mediator device that transfers video from its source to your main live pour setup .
But hang on : why do you need a capture tease ? So that it can show your computer what your television camera is seeing .
To use a capture poster, your television camera needs an HDMI port/output to attach the HDMI cable. This will transfer the video recording feed to your computer .
And, when do you need to add a capture card to your exist flow setup ?
✔ You need a appropriate menu when you ’ re using a software encoder ( more on this below ) .
❌ You don’t need a capture card when you ’ re using a hardware encoder as it normally comes with an inner capture batting order. You besides don ’ t need it when you ’ re using a USB camera or microphone that you can directly plug into your computer .
For now, know that if you are planning to use a capture batting order, you ’ ll need to pick between a USB interface appropriate card or one with a PCI-e interface .
hera are some of our capture card recommendations :

  • HD
  • Elgato CamLink 4K
  • Razer Ripsaw HD

Whatever you select, be certain to check that the capture card is compatible with your streaming platform. For exemplify, there are a handful of capture cards supported by Vimeo .

Lighting setup for live streaming

Okay so you now have most of the technical school list that partially answers how to live stream. But there ’ sulfur another necessity aspect that you can ’ triiodothyronine decamp — lighting for streaming .
A well lit stream can help your live video search more professional and help you engage your audience. Think about it : you don ’ thymine want your viewers to cringe at how ailing lit your live streaming frame-up is and you surely don ’ metric ton want the overhead lights in your office to cast harsh shadows on your speakers or presenters .
The good news program ? You can perfect the lighting set up with these two sources .
Lighting for entrance charge streamers :

  • Sunlight
  • Ring light

Sunlight is your best friend and a barren source for lighting your streaming outer space. Test your video to find the right balance of natural unaccented. Too much sunlight can mask the details of your loudspeaker ’ second face and besides fiddling of it will obscure their features .
here are a few tips for creating a flatter look with natural light :

  • Face the natural light source
  • Use a bounce to fill in any dark shadows
  • Avoid having a window behind the speaker
  • Avoid harsh white or fluorescent lighting

experiment with open and closing the window shades to find the right field set and the perfect balance between the natural and artificial lights in your room .
Want to make the most of the sunlight and shoot outdoors ? Dive into this steer to get a summation of how to perfect outdoor ignition .
Another choice that ’ randomness become popular among live streamers is ring light. These are budget-friendly lighting sources for beginner-level streaming that don ’ t pose a fire luck or heat the room, making them bang-up to use. Their circular design besides means ring lights serve remove shadows from your face .
Lighting for intermediate degree :

  • A three-point light kit

Have some money to spend ? Get a three-point alight kit out to polish up your light up. These kits include three lights : a main/key faint, fill light, and a backlight that bring warmheartedness, depth, and quality to your pour .
You can besides pair lights from this kit with the operating expense lights in your position to light up the scene professionally. How ? By removing the main light since viewgraph lights do its job rather .
Where should I position my lights for streaming?
Using a three-point light kit, position the main light across the subject to illuminate. Next, side the satiate light across the early end of the subject to balance the light from the main light and position the one-third, backlight behind the topic to separate them from the backdrop. See where each light goes in this brusque video recording .

Accessories for live streaming

As for the bits and bob for the perfect apparatus, here ’ s a quick list :

  • A green screen (chroma key) for changing your background
  • A tripod stand for holding your video camera
  • A microphone arm where the audio source rests (unless you’re using a clip on mic)


Let ’ s talk about encoders. To share your current with the world, you ’ ll need an encoder .
An encoder is a device that converts video files from one format to another. Put another means, it takes the bare-assed run from a camera and transfers it into viewable capacity in your main alive stream station .
There are two types of encoders at your disposal : hardware encoders and software encoders .
here ’ s a promptly summation of hardware encoders and software encoders .
Hardware encoders

  • Specially designed for live streaming. They free up your computer for other tasks.
  • Does not require a capture card.
  • Less affordable and difficult to upgrade.

Because hardware encoders free up your computer for focusing on early tasks, these are capital for more master broadcasts and live stream gamers. This way, the personal computer can focus on the game while the encoder works in the background.

As for which hardware encoder to buy, read on to find out budget-friendly options below .
Beginner-level hardware encoders :

  • AJA HD10AMA audio embedder

intercede degree :

  • AJA HD5DA HD-SDI distribution amplifier
  • Datavideo DAC70 up/down/ cross converter

Software encoders

  • A great option for beginner-level streamers. Keep in mind they rely on your computer’s processing power.
  • Capture card may be needed
  • Variety of price points and upgrade options

The good matter about software encoders is that they work on their own, not taking up much of your attention .
here are a few software encoder options :

  • Livestream Studio 6
  • OBS Studio
  • Streamlabs OBS


final on this list of be cyclosis equipment is a switcher. Like an encoder, you may or may not need it. It all comes down to your requirements .
basically, a switcher helps switch between different video and audio sources, production elements, and control graphics .
then if you ’ re using two or more cameras for live pour or want to show graphics/presentations between your know stream, you ’ ll need a switcher to capture the extra feeds for you .
If you ’ re a Vimeo Enterprise exploiter ( or design to be one soon ! ) you ’ ll beget Livestream Studio with your software. not entirely does it handle a software encoder ’ second job, but it besides plays the switcher ’ sulfur function .

What’s the right streaming platform for me?

With be streaming equipment out of the way, let ’ s lecture about the distribution side of how to live stream .
live stream platforms are video recording host services that let you broadcast television contentedness. Depending on the platform you choose, you can stream on multiple channels at once to reach a broad hearing .
There ’ s no one answer to which streaming platform is correct for you as the correct answer is : it depends on your requirements .
For alive streamers who are using television for internal communications ( like township halls or employee trainings ) or for virtual events, there are a few samara features to keep in mind .

Five key features for your live streaming platform

High quality, professional video
For high choice, professional pour television, you ’ ll want to find a solution that supports full HD 1080p and cloud transcoding so that viewers can enjoy beautiful television across devices .
Broaden your reach
If you ’ re a business looking to reach customers wherever they are, you ’ ll want to find a platform that supports simulcasting to other platforms like Youtube Live, Facebook Live, Twitter, and Twitch .
Security and privacy
Secure television streaming is a must for businesses. Look for platforms that include features around privacy, mandate, customization, embedding restrictions, and security .
Powerful engagement
You ’ ll want to include ways for your consultation to interact with your alive stream message via live chew the fat and polls equally good as advance analytics to help you better serve your audience .
An all-in-one home
Get all the tools you need for your exist and host videos : edit and replace post-event video files in up to 4K, spread out with up to 5TB of repositing, and sell your videos after the big event .

Five streaming channels for your video

There are a lot of places for your hearing to view your populate pour. here are a few main destinations where you may want to broadcast your future live event :

  • Branded site: For businesses with a dedicated website or event site, embedding your live stream video can be the simplest and most effective way to share your content with your audience.
  • Vimeo: With an audience of X, Vimeo is a great place to reach your audience. With Vimeo Enterprise, streamers can create showcases to broadcast HD quality video and organize videos into custom categories to create a more Netflix-like experience for audience members.
  • LinkedIn Live: LinkedIn’s native livestream feature is a great place to connect with business-minded professionals, hospitality workers, and even students.
  • Instagram Live: Instagram’s livestream feature lets you broadcast content as part of your IG stories. The key differentiator here is that the stream is ephemeral. Meaning: it disappears once the broadcast ends. No replays are available.
  • Twitch: With 3.8 million streamers, Twitch is the go-to live streaming platform for gamers. But, it’s now opening up for other stream content too.
  • Facebook Live: Once started as mobile-only streaming, Facebook Live lets you now stream from both mobile and desktop.

What if your consultation is unfold across multiple channels ? You don ’ t have to pick just one place to stream ! Simulcasting allows you to stream to multiple destinations at once .

How to live stream in 5 simple steps

At the startle of this usher, we gave you a promptly overview of how to live stream. now that you ’ re companion with the gear needed for a cyclosis frame-up for beginners, let ’ s dive into the details of how to set up a be stream .

1. Connect your audio and video sources

This involves physically connecting the audio and video sources to your main bouncy pour setup ( the personal computer or laptop ). Connect these sources to your hardware encoder to feed the contented into your livestream post or use a capture card if you have a software encoder .

2. Configure the encoder

If you ’ re using an external encoder, you ’ ll indigence to configure the device ’ second setting using an app or Web UI. For a software encoder, you ’ ll knead internally .
You can leave the shape setting to default as the software automatically adjusts to the streaming platform .
Ask you configure your encoder, keep these three points in heed :

  • The resolution or your video’s frame size needs to be at 1280 x720 resolution to start.
  • The bit rate or the rate at which data is uploaded should be set at 3000 Kbps.
  • Lastly, the frame rate or the number of images/frames displayed in a second needs to be 30

3. Connect to the streaming platform

With the audio and video recording set up with your livestream post, you ’ re now left with linking in your streaming platform into the picture .
Use the stream key/name and streaming URL that your live streaming chopine gives you and enter it into the encoder to complete your live streaming setup .
Doing sol allows the streaming platform to identify your encoder. On the other hand, the encoder is able to understand where to send the audio and ocular details .

4. Check your internet connection

Your internet connection is the elephant in the room when it comes to streaming. unreliable internet connection equals slow streaming – something that can make you lose viewers fast .
To prevent lost views, start test your internet speed using a locate like here are a few other tips to make certain your internet connection is stable .

  • Upgrade your bandwidth or how much data you can upload to the highest available.
  • Ask any other family members, roommates, or colleagues share your space to stay offline during your stream.
  • Use your cell phone’s hotspot as a worst-case scenario backup.
  • Test your tech including audio and video quality.

5 significant ideas to consider with upload speeds and streaming
What is upload speed ?
Your upload speed is the accelerate at which your ISP lets you parcel content on the internet. It ’ south measured in millions of bits — or megabits — per irregular and it matters because a slow upload rush would mean patched livestreams .
While there ’ s no answer to the arrant upload accelerate for a alive stream, we have a few benchmarks to keep in mind :

  • 3 Mbps for 480p
  • 6 Mbps for 720p
  • 13 Mbps for 1080p

just remember, the higher your video quality is, the more upload accelerate you ’ ll want .
Your upload speed can besides be impacted by four things .
Upload rate
This is the speed at which your internet can upload capacity. The higher it is, the better your upload speed .
Your internet service provider’s (ISP) bandwidth
To recap, bandwidth is the capacitance of your internet to upload or download data. The larger the video recording contentedness, the greater bandwidth required .
The content quality
High-quality and fast moving visuals can impact your upload speed .
Your streaming platform
Every chopine has its recommendation. here equitable few platform-specific suggestions to give you an mind :

  • Facebook Live recommends max 4,000 kbps bitrate and a max audio bitrate of 128 kbps.
  • Twitch recommends between 2,500 and 4,000 kbps for video, topped with up to 160 kbps for audio.
  • Vimeo requires 10 Mbps or faster for live streams in 1080p.

5. Start streaming

With everything in plaza, click begin streaming in your encoder and get the usher running ! Remember, it ’ mho approve to be aflutter with your beginning time going live. Add a few practice runs before the live data and you ’ ll be good to go.

With adequate planning and a few live streaming sessions under your knock, you ’ ll starting signal enjoying the process in no time .

Wrap up: stream like a pro

immediately that it ’ s clear how to live stream, here ’ s hoping you ’ re ready to go all in and partake your report be. Want to master live stream without having to worry about the technical glitches ? Discover how to launch a successful live stream with Vimeo Enterprise .

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